Digest

Heavy flooding along the Passaic River on Sunday washed out a neighborhood in Little Falls, N.J.
Heavy flooding along the Passaic River on Sunday washed out a neighborhood in Little Falls, N.J. (Julio Cortez)
Monday, March 14, 2011

CALIFORNIA

Jewish prayer ritual alarms flight crew

An Orthodox Jewish prayer observance by three passengers aboard an Alaska Airlines flight Sunday alarmed flight attendants unfamiliar with the ritual, prompting them to lock down the cockpit and issue a security alert, officials said.

Flight 241 from Mexico City landed safety at its destination, Los Angeles International Airport, and was met by fire crews, foam trucks, FBI agents, Transportation Security Administration personnel and police dispatched as a precaution.

The three men, all Mexican nationals, were escorted off the plane by police and questioned by the FBI before being releasedto make connecting flights to other countries, FBI spokeswomanLaura Eimiller said. No charges were filed, she said.

The three passengers had startled members of the cabin crew with what was interpreted as suspicious behavior shortly after takeoff, airline spokeswoman Bobbie Egan said.

"The three passengers were praying aloud in Hebrew and were wearing what appeared to be leather straps on their foreheads and arms," she said. "This appeared to be a security threat, and the pilots locked down the flight deck and followed standard security procedures."

The passengers were wearing tefillin, small, black prayer boxes containing scripture that some devout Jews bind to their foreheads and arms with black leather straps in a daily ritual accompanied by prayers.

- Reuters

Louisiana

1 teen dead, 4 injured in shooting at party

Police say a gunman opened fire on teenagers attending a party Saturday in a New Orleans bar and fled, killing an 18-year-old man and wounding four other teenagers.

Police said in a news release Sunday that a 16-year-old girl was in critical condition. Two other girls, ages 14 and 17, and a 15-year-old boy were hospitalized in stable condition with gunshot wounds.

Officers said shots erupted just before midnight Saturday at a party for teenagers at B&L Lounge. All five victims were found in the bar, where the 18-year-old was pronounced dead.

No arrests had been made.

- Associated Press

Some iPhones fail to "spring forward": Some users of Apple's iPhone missed church and were late for yoga Sunday when their phones bungled the one-hour "spring forward" to daylight saving time, which went into effect overnight Saturday. In the latest clock woe for the iPhone, some users' phones fell back one hour instead of springing forward, making the time displayed on the device two hours off. The solution is simple: Shut down and restart the phone, or switch the phone to airplane mode and then back.

- Associated Press


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